3D-printed protocell footwear reacts to your environment and fits like a second skin.
Running shoes have a hard life, they have to take most of the punishment when it’s time to exercise and rarely get to rest longer than a few hours each night. To give them a chance, London designer and researcher Shamees Aden is developing a concept for 3D-printed running shoes made from synthetic biological material that could repair itself overnight.
Aden’s Protocells 3D-printed trainer would fit like a second skin, react to pressure and movement created while running, as well as react to provide extra cushioning where required. “The cells have the capability to inflate and deflate and to respond to pressure,” Aden told Dezeen at the Wearable Futures conference in London. “As you’re running on different grounds and textures it’s able to inflate or deflate depending on the pressure you put onto it and could help support you as a runner.”
The shoes are made using protocells, very basic molecules that are not themselves alive, but can be combined to create living organisms. After a run, these protocells would lose their energy and the shoes would need to be placed in a jar filled with protocell liquid to keep them healthy. The liquid could also be dyed any colour, causing the shoes to take on that colour as the cells rejuvenate.
Images: Shamees Aden